Ask for the Nations
Exodus 14-15; Matthew 10; Psalm 106
Deliverance is dangerous business! Coming out of slavery, being chased down by your angry captors, is not for the faint of heart.
Of course, you already know that! I know you remember those days when you were finally and suddenly liberated from some addiction that had nearly destroyed your life. Or maybe that’s not your story. Maybe you were freed from that stranglehold of religion that almost destroyed your very soul.
Being set free is liberating, and also terrifying. The shackles come off, but you still have to walk out of captivity… all the while, being taunted and threatened as you make your way to the door.
Glorious! Terrible. And then glorious again.
When the Lord sent Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, God was well aware of the dangers. It wasn’t dangerous because the Lord’s arm was too short to deliver. It was dangerous because when we’ve been held hostage in deception for any length of time, it’s beyond tempting to believe the lie. After all, it’s been our truth. We’ve lived a lie.
Once the shackles come off, we gain confidence by following the Lord one step at a time. As we do, we learn to trust, gaining ground every step of the way.
We follow God, and the enemy follows us. He breathes out his venom, pursuing us, breathing down our necks. Threatening. Intimidating. Chasing us down.
As Israel was being liberated by God through Moses, they were hotly pursued by the Egyptians.
10 When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”
I know you can relate. It’s hard to “feel” free when you’re being chased. It’s hard to be in faith when you’re being pursued.
This is the danger.
The danger is in looking back. The danger is in shrinking down. The danger is in giving up.
13 And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”
Moses was right! He had enough history in God to direct Israel back into faith, back into truth.
But then there’s this… I’m just so glad this got included in the story.
15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16 Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground.
Moses knew what to say to Israel, but his own heart was stuck. He wanted to anchor down and pray. There are times when prayer comes from a place of faith, and there are times, and we’ve all been there, when we cry out because we are stuck in fear.
Moses was leading well, but his own heart was weighed down. The Lord commands the forward! No more crying out, Moses. No more crying out, ____________ (insert your name here).
It’s time to go forward. Lift up your staff and tell the obstacle to move. It’s time. It’s time!
Deepening Faith: Reflective Journal Prompts
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